Cable Operators Begin to Roll Out Emergency Broadband Benefit
This past year has underscored the importance of broadband in the home more than ever before. During the COVID-19 pandemic, broadband connectivity has allowed millions of Americans to work and learn from home, to attend telehealth appointments, to connect with loved ones, and to continue a semblance of their pre-pandemic lives online. In recognition of this necessity and in response to the pandemic, Congress has provided the Federal Communications Commission with $3.2 billion to implement the Emergency Broadband Benefit (EBB) program.
Beginning today, the EBB gives Americans who meet certain criteria—including people of certain income levels, participants of free-or-reduced lunch programs, federal Pell grant recipients, or people enduring hardships such as job loss or furlough—the opportunity to receive the program’s benefits. Eligible families will receive a credit for up to $50 per month for discounted broadband service and associated equipment rental, or up to $75 per month for families who live on tribal lands. Qualifying households also receive a discount of up to $100 to purchase a laptop, tablet, or desktop computer.
All of NCTA’s operator members are participating in the program, opening up this opportunity to millions of consumers across the country in urban and rural communities. More information about company participation can be found on their websites:
The cable industry recognizes the tremendous work and efforts of FCC Acting Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel, other FCC commissioners and staff to rapidly roll out this new federal program, and providers are eager to do their part to connect every American to broadband. The EBB program is just the latest initiative that cable operators are pursuing to achieve this goal. As Acting Chairwoman Rosenworcel said, “We need to use all available tools to get 100% of us connected in this country and this program is an essential part of making that happen.”
More information regarding the EBB program can be found on the FCC’s EBB page.